Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shhh! Can you keep a secret?

...during the past week, best selling writer John Sandford released "Buried Prey," the next highly anticipated saga regarding the life of Minnesota Special Investigator Lucas Davenport.

Within the same cluster of days, one-time power agent turned writer, Nathan Bransford, released his YA grandslam, "Jacob Wonderbar," armed with a nationwide release, an upcoming book tour, and a blog posting of the first chapter to his five thousand loyal followers.

And despite the ache of salt being rubbed into an open wound, I managed to stumble across a handful of blog postings this week describing the do's and don'ts of our precarious world of publishing...and found myself guilty of breaking more laws than I'm willing to share.

All this during the one and only week that "South of Charm" was quietly placed onto the shelves of a select few Indie-Book stores scattered about locally, including my editor's shop, The Wooster Book Company.

It happened without the help of bullhorns or a guest appearance on Good Morning America. No ads were taken out on massive billboards foreshadowing the city limits. No articles in the Times. Just a few copies squeezed onto the "Local Writers" shelf, three rows back from Sandford, and hardly noticeable behind Bransford's cardboard display of a giddy eight year old dressed for a launch into space.

You won't yet find it on Amazon, and if Googled, the title appears as a blip, an accompanying photo or two, and nothing more.

And so by Thursday, I was glum, figuring my chances of making a sales splash had been thwarted on game day.

Then on Friday morning, having not heard a peep from my publisher, a twenty-something fellow named Bob from our warehouse, entered my office smelling of grit and mildew, and plopped into a nearby chair. I've often considered Bob out of sorts when not armed with an axe and covered in chips from a recently downed maple tree. He's overweight, foulmouthed, and troubled when unable to stir up a healthy fist fight during Happy Hour.

I prepared myself to be sprayed with obscenities for not inspecting the chemical ingredients in a length of pipe to be sent out for x-ray. Instead, he downs the remainder of his bottled water, pushes out a belch, and says, "Wanted you to know that I bought your book yesterday after work."


"What? Did ya think I couldn't read or somethin? The big dumb warehouse packer can't barely spell his name, much less read a damn book?"

I raised an open palm in defense. "No no...I mean...thanks Bob. I hope you like it."

Not sure how to respond, he hesitated, offered a nod, and stumbled out the door. was later that evening when I received an email from David, my editor, whose short message lifted my spirits.

"Your book did well today."

I've been informed of an upcoming book signing or two, staying local. The review copies have been shipped out, and the results will coincide with the Kindle release, be them positive, or not so much.

Until then, "South of Charm" is available through Wooster Book's website in the link below. It's the story of a ten year old boy named Danny. He's got a bit of a problem. A secret that he's not wanting to share. And he's about to find out that he's got something a bit more inside of him. Something inspiring. A talent he never knew he had. Powerful enough to stir an entire community into a frenzy. But is that really what he wants? When you're ten years old, is that what anybody wants?

...A day in the sun had burned Mom's cheeks and forehead, the flesh above her brow stretched tight, causing her scowl to appear uncomfortable to maintain.

I followed her gaze to an unoccupied corner of the dining room, where a metal shelving unit was being used as a storage supply for extra menus and utensils bound together in napkins. My eyes darted from the hateful expression frozen upon my mother's face, to the cluttered shelving unit, searching the shadowy areas on either side for anything out of order.

While sitting next to her, I glanced down and noticed that she had backed out of the sandals she had worn while touring the battlegrounds at Gettysburg. She had balled up her toes, clenching them together like oddly shaped fists attached to her ankles.

Having lowered her arms to where they rested upon her thighs, she had joined her hands together, her knuckles trembling.

Troubled, I turned my attention back to the far corner of the dining room, scanning the area in question. When we first entered the restaurant, I spotted a six-by-eight bronze sign fastened to the wall next the hostess station which stated that due to safety requirements, the dining room's full capacity under state law was one hundred eighty-five people. With nearly every table being used at that moment, I was confident that the restaurant was full. However, while everyone else in the bustling eatery was able to see one hundred eighty-five people enjoying their meals, I was convinced that somehow, Mom was seeing one hundred eighty-six...

"South of Charm"

Thanks for reading ;)



The Words Crafter said...

*whispering loudly* Wow!!!! Okay, okay! How cool! And a guy at work bought it, too. Book signings! Is there any word when it will be available in say, a B & N?

Wow. Congratulations! It's hard to whisper on the 'puter, lol :)

That snippet is terribly, terribly intriguing......

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh God, I just love Bob. And you can tell him I said so.

Congratulations Elliot. I'm so happy and excited for you. And let me tell you what, I'll buy your book before Nathan's anyday.

Shhh, I'm going to tell you a secret...I read that first chapter of his, and he ain't got nothin' on you.

All the best. Anne

Jemi Fraser said...

Woohoo! :)

My hubby will shoot me if another physical book appears in our house, but as soon as it's out on Kindle, I'm snapping up a copy! Can't wait!! :)

B.E.T. said...

It's awesome to hear that South of Charm did well! I'll definitely look into it. I hope it does even better. :) It's always the little things that count.

Donna Hole said...

Absolutely awesome. I don't usually read MG, but this one sounds too intriguing to pass up.

I'm about to e-mail you a request, so I hope you look for it in case it goes into spam.

Congratulations El; I can't say that often enough.


Roland D. Yeomans said...

The day it is out on Kindle, it is being cyber-whisked into mine. I pray your sales go through the roof. First books are hard. Nathan has a platform the size of the moon. It's hard to compete with that.

My own Kindle sales are meager. It was a gamble. Time will tell if I was lucky or not.

Have a great week of nothing but wonderful news, Roland

Raquel Byrnes said...

Congratulations on your book doing well. You've just achieved the dream of countless writers out there still banging away on their laptops.

Edge of Your Seat Romance

Cynthia Lee said...

Yay! Congratulations!

Jennifer said...

I just went to the site and ordered my copy. I can't wait to read it! Congrats and I wish you much success.

Elliot Grace said...

...nothing caps off a busy evening like seeing my friends issuing their support during an otherwise rainy Monday night.

Thanks so much everyone for commenting, and for those who have linked over to the book's site:)

I've been told that following a book signing or two, it will be released on Kindle, and upon my demands, at a more comfortable price.

Thanks again!


DEZMOND said...

congrats, congrats, congrats, I'm so happy for you, El!

L'Aussie said...

Hi Elliot. You morphed slowly into this. Love the earlier narrative. Bob is such a cutie and he can read!

I hope it goes gangbusters Elliot. I'll be buying. Checking out the link when I finish this comment.


Trisha said...

Short but sweet email from editor there :D

Congrats on the release!!

Jo Schaffer said...

I enjoyed this post. I hope your book does well.
I'll be getting the kindle version. (=

Francine Howarth said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog!

This is a great read!! Vibrant writing, kind of cute (touching) POV, too. ;)


Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, EL,

Sorry I am coming late to the "party." I am so thrilled for you and your book. Your sensitive writing is bound to captivate all who read it EL

I wish you all the best...


Are you planning a blog tour? It's something you should consider EL.

I'd be glad to help.


Jennifer Hillier said...

This post made me smile. Just goes to show you never know who's reading... :)

Elliot Grace said...

...nothing tops off a busy Friday night like seeing my friends popping by the "Story Pad."

Hey Jo, hoping to break out on Kindle in June, (or so I've heard.)

Hey Francine, thanks so much for the compliment. Glad u stopped by!

Hey Michael, as a matter of fact, I've been gearing up for a tour, (I'll be in touch;)

Hey Jennifer, you said just never know!

Thanks again and have a great weekend!


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Count me in on the tour ... if you'll have me. Only the best in sales for you, my friend, Roland

The Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations! :D

Jodi MacArthur said...

Hi EL,
Great story about Bob. What a character! Sounds like you've got great support in your town. I love your writing voice and the book is intriguing so I'm definitely adding this to my reading list, and will review it for when it goes up on Amazon & I hope you will share with us how your signings go. I'm sure they will be a blast.

Wendy G. Ewurum said...

How wonderful for you. well dome. Can't wait to get a copy.

Fresh Garden said...

Oh, I just love Bob. And you cannot tell him I said so.

RaShelle said...

Congrats on your book release. Can't wait for it to become available on kindle. It sounds like such a great read. =D

Elliot Grace said...

Hey Roland, I'd consider sharing another conversation with you as an evening well spent. Thanks so much for the offer and I'll be in touch.
Hey Eagle, thanks for stopping by, and hoping to get you a review copy soon!
Hey Jodi, thanks so much for the compliment. Word on the street is that it will be heading to that jungle known as Amazon shortly.
Hey Wendy, thanks for stopping by, and hoping copies become readily available very soon:)
Hey Garden, thanks for stopping by the "writerly" pad. Apparently Bob's wife is an avid book worm, hence the purchase. I'll be paying you a visit shortly!
Hey Rashelle, I'm hoping for a Kindle release in June...hoping, hoping, hoping!

Have a great week!


Christine Danek said...

okay, this is my third attempt. Blogger has eaten my comments. Anyway, congrats again El. This is wonderful. I will be posting the release on my blog, if you don't mind.
Such great news.

Damyanti said...

Congratulations!!! All the best with your book...youmust be so excited :)

Thanks for stoping by my blog.

When the link for kindle is up, do pass it to me and I shall tweet it every now and then.

Have lost my iPad (long story)..waiting for a new one to read your book and Roland's!

Judy Croome said...

Oh my goodness, Elliot!! I was so wrapped up in my final push to get my book up on Kindle I missed this gentle birth...WELL DONE! Wishing you many sales and many more "Bob" moments! I'll have to wait for the Kindle release. But I'm so glad you're doing well! (And remember the tortoise gets there before the hare...)
Judy, South Africa

Heather Hellmann said...


Kari Marie said...

Congratulations. Please please post when your Kindle book is available and I'm there 100%. Your book sounds fantastic.

JUST ME said...


It's something to be proud of. Damn proud of. Because it *means* something. It's a part of you that can be shared with countless other people.

Onward and upward. :)

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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